Olympic Games - London 2012

Six British canoeists seal 2012 spots

Six British canoeists booked their London 2012 slots but one former Olympic medallist will not be going to the Games.

Six canoeists book spots - Olympic Games - London 2012From Official Website

David Florence, Richard Hounslow and Lizzie Neave followed first day victories at the slalom selection trials at the Lee Valley White Water Centre with more success.

With the top two results of three this weekend counting, they have secured their Olympic places with a race to spare.

Florence will now look to upgrade the canoe single silver medal he won in Beijing while Hounslow will be named as Team GB's kayak single, leaving 2004 Olympic silver medallist Campbell Walsh watching from the sidelines.

Lizzie Neave will make her Olympic debut in the women's kayak single while Florence and Hounslow will hope to wrap up another Olympic spot in tomorrow's deciding canoe double qualifiers.

"It was a lot of pressure," admitted Florence.

"I heard that Richard had done it in the K1 and I knew it was down to me to see the whole Olympic team sorted out.

"I am not sure it has sunk in yet and that I will be going to the London Olympic Games.

"I knew I was capable of it, but you can never assume that you have got the place in the bag with so many the other good contenders.”

Meanwhile, over 130 miles north in Nottingham and three flat water paddlers also booked their slots.

With World Championships medals under their belts, Liam Heath, Jon Schofield and Ed McKeever had the opportunity to bring their Olympic selection to a close with a win at the first of two national sprint regattas.

Heath and Schofield in the kayak double 200m will now look to upgrade their world silver at London 2012 while 2010 world champion Ed McKeever, in the kayak single 200m, also has proven podium potential.

“It was nice to get Olympic selection over with at the first possible opportunity as you don’t want it hanging over you," said McKeever.

"Now I’ve got to crack on and find a bit more speed before the World Cups in May.”

Meanwhile, Olympic champion and three-times Games medallist Tim Brabants is half way to securing his place on a fourth consecutive team.

Last year he was pipped for a place at the World Championships by Paul Wycherley but he gained revenge in a tight race to move one step closer to defending his title this summer.

“It was important to get a good race done and thankfully I got the right result, it’s always difficult coming out for the first regatta of the year and I haven’t since last year’s World Cups where I wasn’t in great shape," said Brabants.

"The last four years have gone surprisingly quick; it’s been up and down and very different to the last Olympic cycle but hopefully I’m on the right side of it now."

 - Eurosport
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